Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject / Edition 1

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Overview

"This very timely book opens doors into spaces of Islamic piety that shatter the stereotypes which dominate thinking in the West. Mahmood carefully unpacks the distortions that common modes of liberalism and feminism impose on the Muslim world. She combines richness of description with theoretical sophistication to provide insight into the struggle of some Muslim women to live their faith, often in the face of not only Western liberal influences but also Arab nationalism and political Islamism. The reader is forced to face dilemmas that cannot be easily resolved. This is social science at its most illuminating.."—Charles Taylor, Board of Trustees Professor of Law and Philosophy, Northwestern University, author of Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity

"This brilliant study of women in the contemporary mosque movement in Egypt is a provocative challenge to secular feminists and a testament to what anthropology can still offer—through its insistence on serious listening to other worlds—to critical social theory. No feminist theorist or anthropologist of modernity will be able to think the same way about liberalism, agency, or religion after reading this book. I hope that Mahmood's incisive analysis of the Islamic movement will also finally put an end to the banalities that currently masquerade as knowledge about this meaningful social movement."—Lila Abu-Lughod, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, author of Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society

"My enthusiasm for this brave and stunning book is unqualified, and I learned something on every page. Politics of Piety will reorient the way in which cultural theorists regard religious practice and the account of moral agency. It will be of widespread interest not only to anthropologists of various persuasions but also to scholars of Middle East studies, to moral philosophers, to religious studies scholars and lay readers, and to theorists of embodiment across the disciplines."—Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, author of Bodies That Matter

"Mahmood's keenly anticipated and very brave book is a brilliant contribution to the theoretical project for the anthropological study of Islam and to our understanding of Islam in the Middle East, especially as it is practiced by women. There is no question that it is highly significant for all kinds of reasons. The kind of data that the author presents is fresh and relatively unknown in the literature."—Steve Caton, Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies and Social Anthropology, Harvard University, author of Peaks of Yemen I Summon

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Editorial Reviews

Middle East Journal
Mahmood's book is a tour de force that provides an alternative prism through which we may understand the women's mosque movement in Egypt.
Digest of Middle East Studies
The book is of great importance regarding the position of women within the Muslim piety movement in Egypt. It is of interest for those dealing with Islamic revival and women issues not only in Egypt or the Middle East and North Africa but also to those dealing with the role of religion in life and gender issues worldwide.
— Rachel Simon, Ph.D.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2005 Victoria Schuck Award, American Political Science Association

Honorable Mention for the 2005 Albert Hourani Book Award, Middle East Studies Association

"Mahmood's book is a tour de force that provides an alternative prism through which we may understand the women's mosque movement in Egypt."—Cynthia Nelson,Middle East Journal

"The book is of great importance regarding the position of women within the Muslim piety movement in Egypt. It is of interest for those dealing with Islamic revival and women issues not only in Egypt or the Middle East and North Africa but also to those dealing with the role of religion in life and gender issues worldwide."—Rachel Simon, Ph.D., Digest of Middle East Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691086958
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Saba Mahmood is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The subject of freedom 1
Ch. 2 Topography of the piety movement 40
Ch. 3 Pedagogies of persuasion 79
Ch. 4 Positive ethics and ritual conventions 118
Ch. 5 Agency, gender, and embodiment 153
Glossary of commonly used Arabic terms 201
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